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Gentleman Spectator Saturday April 4th

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Saturday, 4 April 1676


World News


Word from the colonies has it that "King Phillip's War" is all but over. Savages have attacked colonists up and down the Connecticut River; but, after several victories, word reaches us from Boston that victory is at hand.


Trade has been increasing in the West Indies of late as the French and Dutch remain at war, while the English ships are able to traverse the ocean unmolested.


London News


After the Fires


The recent fire in the East End reminds us that houses huddled together, made of shoddy and flammable material, will continue to present a risk to the safety of London. It is hoped that the reconstruction of the overcrowded East End of the city will be done in a less haphazard way. There is hope that His Majesty or the Lord Mayor will choose to require bigger parcels and homes made of stone or brick.


The charity in the wake of the fire has been heartwarming. A long list of nobles have made contributions to the poor and displaced of the city. Some of these efforts have been led by the Countess Atherstone, who has spent considerable sums and time with those at the Chelsea Hospital for veterans. Nell Gwynn, former actress and a favorite of His Majesty, has led efforts to purchase farmland to the north of London, to provide housing for the displaced.


Even the French Embassy contributed to the effort, by establishing bread lines for the poor. Witnesses report that Mademoiselle Chartres, niece of King Louis XIII, and cousin of the current King Louis, distributed the food herself. She is one of those reputed to be under close consideration for the next Queen of England.


Madman on Rampage?


Nocturnal attacks in the streets of London have been attributed, by varying accounts, to either a mythical blood-sucking beast, or a dark hairy animal seen amid the rooftops of London. Great caution is advised, especially to women, as they seem to be the most likely target.


Parliament Moves


The Naval Committee is said to have come to initial agreement on the formation of a Bank of England to address the back pay of our valiant sailors. The efforts are said to have been led by Lords Brynfield, Mountjoy and Basildon. Members of Commons, it is said, have agreed to a structure whereby Parliament will assist in addressing the need to raise money for these purposes.




While a general desire for a Protestant Queen of England grows, Mlle. Chartres has, until recently, been thought to be the lead candidate. Not only is she reputed to be the wealthiest eligible lady in Europe, but the close relationship between the royal families of France and England are thought to weigh in her favor.


The great Protestant hope, to date, has been Karoline von der Pfaltz of Bohemia, niece of the Duke of Cumberland. Yet, this advantage seems lost in the news of the recent conversion of Lady Mignonette de la Rovere of Savoy. She would be the only candidate that would be a member of the Church of England. Coupled with the fact that she is a first cousin of His Majesty, is known to be a kind and gentle lady, and is the niece of the affluent Duchess of Savoy, the gambling houses would be wise to adjust the odds to make her the clear favorite.


Social Scene

A scandalous masque turned sour, embarrassed its hostess -- the Scottish mistress of the King. The joyous party was held on the first of April, amid the suffering of the people of London. Risque Grecian clothing fell away to promote couplings between the Scot's friends and servants in disguise. Worse, there was an assault upon the King by one of the guests. The Life Guard wrestled the man's sword away, but not before a guard was wounded. Whispers of banishment for the mistress and wife of the Earl of Alyth are already circulating. Many expect her to disappear from court in the coming days.




Just this very day comes the news that Life Guard Major Charles Whitehurst, Viscount Langdon, bested the undefeated Irish champion, Horace McBride, in a horse race in Saint James Park.

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